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Football

Give NFL Referees a Break

Let’s start off by stating the fact that there has been a ton of blame and fault thrown at the NFL’s referees in recent years. Whether it be a missed pass interference call, a catch being dropped, or even a roughing the passer flag there’s always something that sends social media into a frenzy. It confuses the public as fans and it confuses the players and coaches every game. Then both groups expect and demand perfection from a group of seven humans who are far less than perfect and will make mistakes just like players. Is the criticism justified though?

There are plenty of controversial or even blown calls in recent memory. The no-call in the 2019 NFC Championship Game is a prime example of just how human these referees are. In full speed, the ball being thrown to the Saints WR and the hit delivered by the Rams DB seems almost simultaneous. It isn’t until review and slow motion where you can see just how blatant it really was. But, if you’re the referee, you can’t just slow time down like a scene in a supernatural TV show. Keep in mind, you can’t review penalties in the 2018-19 league year like you can now thanks to the new rule, nor can you just throw a flag down after the play has already been concluded. Should have it been called? Yes, without a doubt. But, these referees aren’t perfect and they’re going to miss things and cost games every now and again. They go by what they see and just like any other person, it could be wrong.

If they let the players play, they get dragged through the mud on social media and by players and fans alike, and if they call everything by the book, it’s the same result. It sets an impossible standard for these men and women to reach week in and week out. You might as well have robots in there officiating games, and they’ll even get it wrong with how often the NFL rule-book changes year in and year out. We can’t even keep up with it, and you expect these people to know 89 pages of rules and exceptions and memorize it for weekly use? That’s absurd and incredibly short sighted. When you have half a second to make a decision on a play so train-wrecked like a pass interference, odds are you might make the wrong call. Although it sucks, should they really be held to the fire for not making a decision nobody could realistically make in their position? It’s unfair.

To think that the NFL is rigged and the officials are bought out by teams is such a dated conspiracy theory and I think most reasonable people would be inclined to agree. Bad calls are going to happen, they’re almost a part of the game. Sometimes they are the difference between a win and a loss, is it really their fault though? That a game came down to a bad call going one way or another? Don’t want to risk a bad call? Put points on the board and stop your opposition. Putting faith into seven humans who make just as many mistakes as the players is not only incredibly foolish, but a horrible strategy. They should be held accountable, nobody is disagreeing on that point. But, this is football, not fantasy land where everything is perfect and it all goes the way it’s supposed to. In conclusion, stop blaming the referees because your team let a game come down to a half second decision that couldn’t be perfectly made by anybody on the planet.

Photo Source : Mark J Terrill / AP Photo

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